I pre-ordered this cpu from Ebuyer UK in early September 2011. It was supposed to be released on 16/09/11 but due to delays, I did not receive it until end of October. I initially purchased an Asus Crosshair formula V mb but due to ongoing problems, I had to return it. I suspected the mb was inherently unstable or it was causing some compatibility issues with the FX8150. Fortunately, on USA Amazon at the time of writing, there are 4 reviews (and many comments) for the FX8150 (where a few guys have confirmed there is some compatibility issues between the Asus mb and FX cpu). I replaced the Asus crosshair V with the Gigabyte UD7 990FX AM3+ mb. It is a great mb. It is working perfectly and I have no issues whatsoever. I gave reviews on UK Amazon for both motherboards. I was also very disappointed to find out there are no reviews on UK Amazon, Novatech, Overclockers, Ebuyer, etc for this FX8150 cpu. So I have just submitted my review on UK (and now USA) Amazon (and a short version on Ebuyer).
Despite all of the negative reviews given by Intel fanatics, this FX8150 really is not bad at all. I also prefer to judge for myself (although I was initially concerned due to negative reviews by intel fanboys). I have been using it on a stable mb for just over 4 weeks now. At idle, cpu hovers between 37-41 degrees celsius (dependant upon ambient room temperature). When stressed (gaming), cpu can go up to 55C, so it does tend to run a bit hot (I am using it in a coolermaster HAF 932 atx case). BTW, over the last 7 years, I have had 6 Intel based pc's but now I decided to give AMD a go, as I was intrigued by the Bulldozer.
My AMD rig = FX8150, Gigabyte UD7 AM3+ mb, 580gtx, 8GB DDR3 corsair vengeance ram 2000MHz but at default 1333MHz, 1200watt psu. Everything is working perfectly. I ran cpu bench mark tests. The FX8150 CPU results:
CPU integer maths: 1663.9 out of 2000
CPU floating point maths: 5404.6 out of 6000
CPU-find prime numbers: 1704.1 out of 2000
CPU-SSE: 30.2 out of 40
CPU compression: 9850.1 out of 10,000
CPU encryption: 28 out of 30
CPU-Physics: 513.6 out of 600
CPU-string: sorting 6170.4 out of 7000
Compare this to my previous I7-960 rig (Asus sabretooth X58mb, 12GB Kingston hyperX ram @ 1600MHz, 560 GTX Ti SOC, 1200 watt psu):
CPU integer maths: 1079.5 out of 2000
CPU floating point maths: 1416.1 out of 2000
CPU-find prime numbers: 765.3 out of 800
CPU-SSE: 8.8 out of 10
CPU compression: 4160 out of 5000
CPU encryption: 13.3 out of 20
CPU-Physics: 257.8 out of 300
CPU-string sorting: 2712 out of 3000
Once I adjust the corsair ram (via mb BIOS from 1333MHz to 2000MHz, I am sure the benchmark results will be higher still.
In a nutshell, this FX8150 cpu serves all of my needs. It is as fast as my I7-960 and I have no complaints whatsoever. However, Intel cpu's are fast straight out of the box whereas this AMD cpu seems to have a learning curve. Admittedly in video editing, it was c.25% slower than the I7-960 and that does fall in line with current findings in that BD is not as efficient in single threaded apps as expected (see below for reasons). I was initially thinking of upgrading my I7-960 cpu and mobo etc, but since Intel are now phasing out the LGA 1366 platform and replacing it with the LGA 2011 rig, investing a large amount of capital on a soon to be defunct platform would have been a pointless exercise and a complete waste of money. What I really wanted was something new, affordable and preferably with 8 genuine physical processing cores. I had to rule out Intel I7-980 and 990 (LGA1366, too expensive despite end of line and it will not support upcoming PCIE3 gfx cards from Nvidia and AMD). I also ruled out the new Intel LGA2011 (ludicrously extortionate prices for cpu's and motherboards). I was also reluctant to jump on the Intel 2nd generation I7 bandwagon. To summarise, I ruled out intel altogether for practical and personal reasons (see below). Next on my list was the bulldozer. Whilst the BD is not so great with single threaded apps, it does shine with respect to heavily, multi-threaded applications such as gaming and working in a Linux frame. Now that is what I am looking for.
The FX8150 is substantially better in every way than my original I7-920 for gaming (this was the biggest and most noticeable improvement). It also noticeably bettered my I7-960. Even with the 560 GTX Ti SOC (before getting the 580GTX two days ago), the picture quality when gaming with the FX8150 was far better. Objects had better definition and clarity, more visual depth and breadth and richer colours. In short, the games felt more lifelike and ran very smoothly. By contrast, the I7-920 had a lack lustre feel when gaming. The I7-960 was good but it was bested by the FX8150 wrt richness in picture colour/clarity, fluidity of gameplay and fast response. Some people say the cpu is not involved in gaming. Actually, it is. The cpu helps undertake polygon, PhysX and tesselation calculations, so it takes a big strain off the gpu. BTW, Toms Hardware gave a review saying that W7 and other software were never designed to work with 8 cores. Hence poor bench result for FX8150 which caused c.25% bottle neck performance. MS have acknowledged this and are engineering a patch for W7 which should resolve this problem. W8 will hopefully be compatible with the heavily multi-threaded BD 8 core and piledriver 8 and 10 core cpu's.
Furthermore as one reviewer has correctly stated, AMD have acknowledged Bulldozer's minor design issues (Branch Prediction, Pipeline Flushing, Cache Trashing, Decode unit not wide enough, etc). Clearly, fine tuning was required but due to the impending release date, AMD decided to rely on the higher clock frequencies until R&D resolved these minor issues and release the improved version, via the FX8170 Q1 or Q2 2012 and the 'Piledriver' cpu to be released on 1090FX AM3+ platform Q3 2013. The piledriver will deliver 15%-20% improved performance under video/digital workload and if MS get their act together and release the patch for W7 in order to fully utilise the 8 core multi-threading cpu, then performance for the FX8150 should increase by c.15%.
The cpu and mb cost me £200 each (total £400). I was able to recoup £330 by selling my I7-960 cpu and sabretooth X58 mobo. In the grand scheme of things, my AMD platform cost me £70 (£400-£330=£70). If I were to opt for an equivalent Intel pairing (either LGA 1155 G2-I7 or LGA 2011), then it would cost me at least £520. I look forward to the FX8170 and piledriver cpu's and the new 1090FX mobo which should hopefully have PCIE3 lanes although Toms hardware seems to think otherwise, but many usa discussion threads are claiming the 1090FX AM3+ mb will have PCIE3 lanes in order to accomodate the new 7000 series graphics cards by AMD but I guess I will have to wait and see. I have no regrets migrating from Intel to AMD and I did so for personal/ethical reasons (intel R&D labs are based in Haifa, on illegally acquired Palestinian land and intel has substantial political and financial backing from israel. In short, it is pretty much an israeli co-owned company).
I hope AMD do not throw in the towel, despite their claims that they will no longer compete with Intel. At the end of the day, AMD deserves a pat on the back for designing a cpu with completely new architecture and trying to push the performance envelope. Yes, it did not perform as well as expected but that is due to five issues -
1) W7 and other software were never designed to utilise a heavily multi-threaded cpu with 8 genuine physical processing cores because W7 is unable to distribute workload equally in the first cycle and the physical cores 2-4 or 2-8 (4 cores or 8 cores) are not back filled equally in the second cycle. Furthermore, MS software is optimized to work efficiently with all 4 of Intel's cpu algorithms but not with AMD cpu algorithms (which is interesting, since MS has very strong business ties with Intel).
2) Above mentioned design issues and also errors made by marketing department when ignoring R&D recommendations and not delaying the release date. This is courtesy of David Meyers, who was subsequently fired by AMD but is now working for Intel. Hmmmm...
3) Flawed manufacturing process courtesy of 'Global Foundries' with regards to the 32nm chip (which is why AMD is shifting production to another company).
4) The BD cpu is not from a dedicated desktop cpu lineage. It's design is based upon the Zambezi architecture. In other words, the BD is actually a mainframe server cpu built for number crunching!. There is a big difference in structure and function between a mainframe server cpu and a dedicated desktop cpu. Also, mainframe server cpu's distibute workload equally amongst the multi-thread/multi-core cpu's but this facet is not true of desktop cpu's (see reason 1). This is why Intel as a general rule, do not use the mainframe server `Xeon' cpu's for desktop machines without modifying them first.
5) Last but not least, according to an eye opening revelation given on the lenzfire website, AMD has 20 TIMES LESS FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR R&D WHEN COMPARED TO INTEL'S BUDGET ($100 million and $2 billion respectively). When you consider this massive difference, AMD has done a very good job on a comparatively limited budget.
All things considered, this FX8150 is still a capable cpu. If AMD can tweak it and sort out the minor issues, then the FX8170 and piledriver will be very good indeed. The FX8170 will be the improved version of the FX8150. If AMD throws in the towel, then Intel will hike their extortionate prices even further. As a consumer I do not want that, so I have decided to give AMD the benefit of the doubt and buy their products. Read more ›